An Ancient Love Letter

1.10.2017



An Ancient Love Letter
by: Tish Arana



Yesterday I was sugar tobacco cotton and gold

Still I saved breast milk for my own child, a move they called bold

I was the woman who learned letters by the light of the moon 

I was the man dancing, training via secret fight tune

I chose to love and jumped brooms; embraced words as our rings 

And with that same honest love drowned my precious offspring

I buried both hammer and hair pin simply to mess with their days

And put oleander laced tea on missus’ morning food trays

I ran through the night; found my freedoms in tracks 

I escaped from the monsters who grew roots on my back

I gathered my stories; swallowed all of it whole

Let it seep in my blood, absorbed better than coal

Asked Oya to protect it, to bind the magic to bone

For a new generation to remember and own

It took all of my lives, all the grit all the fight

To bind the spell, let new magic take flight

So now my sweet children you must remember my gift

You must remember each struggle that I carefully stitched

The stories in your veins are a roadmap to hope

Stories that will help you do more than just sit by and cope

You resist in your own way but you resist all the same

You remember that no one can take your damn name

Life is not easy. And there are dark days ahead

But like all the mothers have told you a closed mouth don’t get fed

Read. Speak up. Hide hammers and fight

Show them who you are; show them your darkness and your light.  

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